Tag Archives: social media

How to keep up with a Hot Job Market

There is an article in the Globe and Mail this morning about the “hottest” jobs in the business world.  I don’t like the term “hot” when describing the job market.  It suggests that people are running from one flaming seat to another.  And sometimes they are.  But really what it does is encourage people to change jobs for a dollar…..or a lot of dollars.

It is true that money should always be a factor in job selection but, unless you are grossly underpaid, it can only be one consideration.

I know too many people who have accepted roles with out of proportion compensation packages and then been miserable.  At the other end of the spectrum are people who get more satisfaction from their volunteer work than they ever got from their day job.

It is, though, helpful to keep an eye on job prospects in emerging segments.  Whether you have an eye on one of the roles specifically or you are in a support function, being aware of what’s on the horizon is the best way to manage your career.

  • Chief Technolgy Officer
  • Chief Revenue Officer
  • Drone Operations Manager
  • Jobs in Clean and/or Renewable Energy
  • Information Assurance Analyst

These are the roles that companies are looking for now or will be in the next short while.  It’s an interesting variety.  Who has not thought about being a drone pilot?  Sounds so cool.

If you spend your days on a hamster wheel focussing on only your organization and you haven’t the time or energy to look ahead, you will end up bitter and exhausted.  That really limits your ability to figure out how to make amove let alone how to figure out what that move will be.  It also means that if an opportunity presents itself, you might not recognize it or be able to capitalize on it.

Two suggestions to stay on top of future opporunties:

  1.  Swap some of your Instagram scrolling for LinkedIn scrolling
  2. Read the business section of a newspaper every day

These are not big things to do but they will pay dividends.

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Stay on Track with your Career Resolutions

We are almost at the end of the first week of 2017.  How are those new years resolutions working out?  Still bringing your lunch to work?  Been to the gym a couple of times?

And how about your career?  Any thoughts on that during the holidays?  Probably not….way too much family, friends and Netflix.

You can still make change.  It just takes one small step at a time.  Here is something you can do today.clock

Get a friend or colleague to look at your LinkedIn profile while you read through theirs. Take about five minutes. Make some notes on the things that you like  and some notes on what you think might be missing. Consider things like their career path, successes, causes, projects and even their photo. You have a more objective point of view of their work and that’s where your opinion adds real value.

When you are done, get together and compare notes.  You should each get some good flashes of insight into how to present yourself more fully to the LinkedIn world.  If you want to really go all out, make the changes that you feel are warranted and then show your profile to someone outside of your workplace or work group.  Feedback without the immediate work context can be really helpful as well.

Tip:  when you edit your profile,  turn off the button that notifies your connections about your changes (it’s on the right hand side of the page).  There is nothing more annoying than 500 people congratulating you on a new role when all you did was fix a typo.



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Filed under career change, linkedin

So…..are we exclusive?

I was talking about LinkedIn with a group of people on Monday evening.  One of the big questions seemed to be about invitations. When someone invites you to connect, should you accept?

Some people only accept invites from people they know. Others, like people in my profession, accept all invitations.

The answer lies in why you got on LinkedIn in the first place. Is it a place to hang out with former colleagues?  A place to develop your consulting reputation?  Maybe you want to grow your community of influence, so that when you throw a highly pithy comment out there – you get lots of feedback.

Most of us keep our profiles current and polished so we can get noticed. We want prospective employers or clients to find us and look us over. The way we get “found” is by broadening our networks either by accepting invitations or joining groups.

Here’s a possible strategy:

  • Take a look at your invites once every week or so. You don’t have to do it right away. They will not evaporate.
  • If you don’t know the person, click on their name. Maybe that will jog your memory or you will realize that they know a lot of the same people you do.
  • Decide if you want to accept, ignore or procrastinate a little longer.

So, when you are deciding whether your network is going small and exclusive or open and diverse, think about how you want to be treated. When you reach out to someone, you want to be acknowledged, right?

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Filed under Job Search, Networking, social media

Job Seeker Badges

The other night, my human resources association chapter event featured Sidneyeve Matrix (yes, that’s really her name).  She is an assistant professor at Queen’s University.  She teaches mass communications to 1000 students a year.

She filled our heads with all kinds of information about social media and how it’s really being used today.

One of the many cool concepts she talked about was badges.  Firefox has started a campaign where organizations that educate can issue and users can earn badges to display on their online profiles.  Today, we just have our degrees and diplomas up on the wall and people can only see them if they scroll way down to the bottom of a linked in profile.

Imagine if your google+  or Facebook page had 6 or 8 badges that reflected your knowledge and achievements.  Cool, no?

Firefox has made available developer kits so that companies can make their own badges for people to earn.  I am no developer but here is the list of badges that I think need to be developed for job seekers.

  • Knows how to ace a behavioural interview including the trick question about how many tall people live in Chicago
  • Has created several different versions on their resume –  Word, PDF and Infographic
  • Can go to a cocktail party and score a meeting
  • Is still connected to people at every company where they have ever worked
  • Can name and navigate six or more job boards
  • Has a working relationship with two recruiters (by relationship, I mean they will return your call

So maybe the last one is a little personal but in my view, these are all badge worthy skills.  Even if you can’t get a badge for them yet, work on them anyway.  It’ll do you good.

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The Itch to Switch

It is spring.  Green things are growing like crazy.  For me, it’s mostly weeds but still, you can see the changes every day. This weekend, I’m going to be content to negotiate with worms as big as my finger where I can plant my veggies.  Others though, are feeling the itch to switch more than just their landscaping.

Like starting a new garden, thinking about a job change can be overwhelming.  Where to start?  There is so much to do.

Grab a shovel and let’s dig in.

  1.  Your resume.  No one will even interview you these days without a resume.  Pull out the last version that you can find.  Print it, make some notes about what needs to be changed and then start a whole new document.  Microsoft Office has some great templates to get you started.  Don’t expect to finish it in one go.  Get as far as you can and then go outside and do something else.  Come back to it in a day or so.  Allowing time for it to percolate in your brain will result in some shifting and probably some catchy phrases that you did not think of in the first go.
  2. Brush up your profile on linkedin.  You can buy stock in linkedin too, but that’s another blog entry for another day.  Connect to some people with whom you used to work, go to school or volunteer. Make sure you check off all the boxes in the “Contact Settings” area of your profile and put in either a work or personal email address.  That way, people can contact you directly.  This activity puts your profile front and centre with your network.  That’s when sparks start to fly.
  3. Think of three people that you want to connect or reconnect with and set up coffee or lunch with them.  This is not a “please help me find a job” meeting.  It’s a “what’s happening in your world” meeting.  This is how you a) learn about other avenues for growth and b) let people know what you have been doing.

And there you have it:  three simple things to get the seeds sown for your next chapter.

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Filed under Resume

New tools, new rules

Social media, social shmedia…..it’s everywhere.  And it’s a tremendous tool for job seekers and for hiring managers but as with any new tool, there are safety rules that need to be followed to prevent a career ending injury.

It’s okay to find someone on linkedin and to invite them to connect with you but give them a reason.  Don’t just send the canned invitation.  Personalize it with a note about why you want to connect.  Remember that popular people are inundated with invitations and may be selective.  Also remember that some people do not check linkedin often, so there may be quite a delay. 

It’s okay to argue about bedtime with your sixteen year old on facebook chat. (This is actually surprisingly effective)  It is definitely not okay to “friend” the hiring manager you just met so you can check out their weekend plans.

Use the level of formality as your guide.  A new relationship should start out pretty formally – like a first date.  An email and maybe a hand written note after the first conversation or meeting.  Once relations are established, then voice and emails are effective.  When the relationship has moved into the very familiar, (think: going steady) then the texting and facebooking can begin. 

Also, be mindful of the organization’s culture when you are deciding what kind of communication will get you to the next level.  Most engineering firms will squint and crinkle their noses if you try to connect by pinging them through facebook but at Zappos, the hugely successful online shoe retailer,  it’s absolutely the best way to connect.  If fact, their employees are encouraged to interact with customers and potential employees via facebook and twitter.  Different audience, different culture, different rules.

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